- 3 eggs
- 3/4 cup (165g) caster (superfine) sugar
- 1 cup (150g) self-raising flour
- 3 (630g) medium pears
- 1/2 cup (110g) caster (superfine) sugar, extra
- 2 cup (500ml) water
- 1 (240g) medium orange
- 1/4 cup (30g) coarsely chopped roasted unsalted pistachios
- 6 x 3cm x 4cm sheets edible gold leaf
- 1 cup (220g) caster (superfine) sugar
- 3/4 cup (180ml) water
- 3 teaspoon powdered gelatine
- 2 tablespoon water, extra
Pear and marshmallow trifles
- 1Preheat oven to 180°C/350°F. Grease 20cm x 30cm (8-inch x 12-inch) rectangular pan, line base and long sides with baking paper, extending paper 5cm (2 inches) over sides.
- 2Beat eggs and sugar in small bowl with electric mixer until thick and creamy and sugar is dissolved. Transfer mixture to large bowl. Sift flour over egg mixture then fold ingredients together. Pour mixture into pan.
- 3Bake sponge about 30 minutes. Turn sponge immediately, top-side up, onto baking-paper-covered wire rack to cool.
- 4Meanwhile, peel, quarter and core pears.
- 5Place extra sugar and the water in medium saucepan. Using vegetable peeler, remove 5cm strip of rind from orange, juice orange (will need ¼ cup juice). Add rind and juice to pan and stir over high heat, without boiling, until sugar dissolves. Bring to the boil, reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, 3 minutes. Add pear and simmer, uncovered, until pear is barely tender. Cool pear in poaching liquid.
- 6Make marshmallow. Stir sugar and the water in medium saucepan over high heat, without boiling, until sugar dissolves and bring to the boil. Reduce heat, simmer, uncovered, without stirring, until syrup reaches 115°C/240°F on a candy thermometer. Meanwhile, sprinkle gelatine over the extra water in small bowl and stand mixture 5 minutes. Stir gelatine mixture into hot syrup, transfer mixture to medium heatproof bowl, cool until mixture is only just warm. Beat sugar syrup with electric mixer about 8 minutes or until thick and glossy.
- 7Cut cake into 2cm cubes and divide between six serving glasses, sprinkle each with a tablespoon of pear poaching liquid, top with pears. Spoon marshmallow mixture into glasses, sprinkle with nuts. Use tweezers to lift pieces of gold leaf onto stems of pears and wrap around stems gently, being careful not to touch the gold leaf with your hands, as it will stick.
Edible gold leaf and candy thermometers are available from kitchenware stores and cake decorating suppliers.
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